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make the conference a success. Everybody had to listen to him. He held delegates up simply by lifting his umbrella, as one correspondent said, just as a semaphore brings a train to halt. As a journalist he must have his paper. He somehow got control of the Dagblad, the leading-daily of The Hague, at least to the extent of becoming its conference editor. He also gave a lecture in the city, to a large audience, on the work of the conference. Other distinOther distinguished peace workers present were Dr. Charles Richet and Emile Arnaud from France; Fredrik Bajer of Copenhagen, president of the International Peace Bureau; Senator La Fontaine of Brussels, with a memorial signed by more than 100,000 Belgians; Madame Waszklewicz, organizer of the Dutch Peace Crusade, with a memorial from over 200,000 of her countrymen; Madame Selenka of Munich, one of the most remarkable women whom the peace movement has brought to the front, with the great memorial from millions of women in eighteen nations; Mr. Felix Moscheles of London; Mr. Novicow, the distinguished sociologist of Odessa; and, not least influential, a deputation of six English Friends from the Yearly Meeting in London, whom Mr. de Staal received with peculiar pleasure, because "he knew they were sincere."


The commissioners began their work very sceptical as to results. It was new work to most of them. the surroundings were all such as to encourage them, and the multitudes of appeals and expressions of faith coming from all lands made it impossible for them not to try to do their best. The best spirit of the time was upon them. After a session or two, when they had looked into each other's faces and seen what an able and helpful corps of fellow-workers they had to coöperate with, they set to work seriously, earnestly and confidently. No body of men ever did more faithful work. There was no

trifling. The committees and subcommittees toiled earnestly and patiently for nearly two months over the problems which had been set for them. The finest spirit of concord prevailed throughout. The differences in opinion were only such as are incident to any great discussion. The debates were conducted for the most part in a noble and generous spirit. There was almost nothing that could be called wrangling or twitting, no attempt at outwitting or beating one another down, no effort of representatives of great states to override those of small ones. The manner in which the deliberations were conducted would do honor to any national assembly. There was a sense of brotherhood, fellowship and mutual interest altogether unexpected in so mixed and varied an assembly.

It will be a long time before the full results of the conference will be seen. The fact that it met, with such a body of able, disinterested and for the most part progressive men, that it worked so faithfully and in so fine. a spirit of mutual appreciation and harmony, is of vastly more significance for the future of civilization than any direct result accomplished. It is a notable proof that humanity as a whole has come to a real political consciousness of itself and is about to assume the sovereignty of the world which inherently belongs to it. The parliament of man, of the race, has actually begun, and no power on earth or under it can stay its completion. But the actual accomplishments of the conference are very great, and the high character and eminence of the delegates at home, and the close relations which they have maintained with their governments, make it practically certain that their conclusions will be ratified by all of the twenty-six nations represented, and probably accepted by a number of others.

The Geneva convention in its full significance is to be extended to

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maritime warfare. The rules of war drawn up at Brussels in 1874 have been recast, and will doubtless become a fixed part of international understanding as to the conduct of campaigns when war befalls. The American delegates got through almost unanimously a resolution recommending a special conference to treat the question of private property at sea in time of war. lably beyond these in meaning and value is the scheme for permanent arbitration. This will doubtless grow into something more perfect. But it is an exceedingly able and practical scheme as it is, as any one may see by studying it closely. It is the beginning of the permanent organization of international justice, and will have dealt war a blow from which it will never recover.

The disarmament question was deeply felt in the conference. There was a general fear to tackle it, but a profound feeling that it must be se

riously grappled with in the near future. Many of the leading delegates said that a good arbitration system would lead inevitably to disarmament, either by the joint action of the nations or their individual action. The whole weight of the conference, with the exception of Germany and one or two of her military friends, went strongly against the present armed and exhausting peace, or latent war. The resolution which Mr. Bourgeois got through with practical unanimity, declaring that relief from the present armed condition was an object for which the nations individually should seriously strive, came near being the desired consummation. It is altogether possible that this virtual condemnation by the conference of the present rivalry of armaments will lead to almost immediate diplomatic action looking to gradual and general reduction. not, then a special conference for this purpose is not far away.


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By Annie Howells Fréchette.

HAT'S a good idea!"

Mr. Prior read again the following: "Owing to the destitution which is the result of the continued hard times, it behooves every good citizen to feel for some less fortunate man who is forced to stand idle and listen to the cry of his hungry children, to give him one crust if he has two. We hope our townspeople will respond with their usual generosity to the appeal for assistance on behalf of the worthy poor of the city of C. We are a comfortable, a comfortable, prosperous community; let us give of our plenty. Next Thursday evening a concert will be given in the town hall, in which the best talent of our music loving town will take part, and the price of admission to this concert will be one potato-or a dozen, or a bagful, just as you wish. The bigger the hearts, the bigger the heap of potatoes will be."

Now it so happened that Mr. Prior was a young man upon whom what he called "an idea" took a strong hold, especially when it touched his heart as well as his fancy. So after reading the above, he communed with himself as follows:

"I'll go to that concert, and I'll send a wagon load of potatoes! I ought to give freely of the wealth which father gathered up for me. By Jove! it stirs a fellow up to think how a man must feel to hear his children crying with hunger and having nothing to give them."

The following day he had occasion to make a flying visit to C, the city destined to receive of the plenty of his native town. In one of the stores which he chanced to enter, his attention was attracted by something which lay upon the "notions" coun

ter. At another time he might not have noticed it; but to-day the dull little object which lay among the feminine dainties presented itself boldly. boldly. It was an odd conceit,—a papier-maché potato, perfect in modelling and color.

"You see it opens. It is a bonbon box," explained the young girl who presided at the counter. "You press a spring which is covered by one of the eyes. It's awfully cute, isn't it?"

The bonbonnière was speedily transferred to Mr. Prior's pocket, and he took his way to his train. As he rushed homeward, a plan gradually took shape in his mind. The next morning he went to the bank and diminished his account there by one thousand dollars. This sum was in one bill, and the bill was crisp and new. When he returned to his cheery bachelor quarters, he locked his door and withdrew the potato from its tissuepaper folds. Opening it, he put the neatly folded bill within, and closed it with a snap.

"There, I hope that will do a thousand dollars' worth of good,”—and he turned it about admiringly. "I can imagine the excitement of the committee when they discover the joke I've played on them: for the moment they see this they'll know it isn't a potato. They'll never suspect where it came from. I don't think I could have given it if I'd had to parade my gift."

Mr. Prior presented himself early at the town hall next evening, and from fingers trembling with excitement delivered up his precious potato. The hall was crowded with an audience evidently anxious to betake itself to the basement, as soon as the local talent was willing, to see the result of the novel appeal. At last the end came, and the audience swarmed downstairs, where a goodly show greeted it. A monstrous heap of potatoes

filled the centre of the room, and around the sides were other farm produce and numerous bundles of well mended old clothing. Our hero quitted the building in an exalted state of mind. He was proud of his town and his neighborhood; his pride even embraced the whole country. He said to himself that nowhere but in America was such a thing possible.

The next day he took occasion to meet a member of the committee, who hinted that there was still a surprise in store for the public. Of course there was. All day he greeted acquaintances gayly and harped constantly upon the charity concert. It was the more noticeable, as he had always been a retiring young man. The affair had evidently carried him. out of himself. He not only talked loudly, but laughed boisterously in the hotel office.

"What ails Prior?" asked one of the habitués there. "He seems mightily stirred up about something."

"He has been acting kind of queer for the last day or two. Doesn't take anything, does he?"

"Prior take anything! Why he's as straight as a post."

The next issue of the Watchman contained the committee's report. It closed thus: "It is with pleasure and pride that we anounce the handing in of a potato ticket to which was attached a check for twenty-five dollars, by one of our public-spirited citizens, whose name is withheld at his own request. Surely we may all feel proud to belong to a town which produces such a man.'

That then was the surprise! Mr. Prior slept badly that night. Early the next morning he went to the man who had acted as doorkeeper.

"Smith, what did they do with the potatoes which were taken in at the door?" he asked as unconcernedly as possible for a man who was growing anxious about the success of a joke. "The tickets? Oh, just dumped them in with the rest.”

"Dumped them in with the rest!"

The perspiration started out upon his palms.

"Why, you didn't expect us to do 'em up in pink cotton, did you?" "Dumped them in with the rest!" he repeated in a dazed manner. "That's what we did, sir," answered Smith.

"I think I'll take a look at those potatoes," Prior said in a voice which he hoped did not tremble.

"All right. Go gaze at 'em. You'll find nigh on to a hundred bushel down there." And as Prior's hat disappeared in the stairway he said to himself, "What can the fool want to look at them potatoes for?"

The anxious man hurried into the dimly lighted cellar. His joke had miscarried! He must find his thousand-dollar potato-and find it, too, without attracting attention. He was morbidly alive to ridicule, and he was a modest man. He could not face either the ridicule or the praise which would be his, should his gift and the manner of bestowing it become known.

Prior drew off his gloves. He took a long breath and began rapidly to sort the potatoes over. Night must not overtake him with his work unfinished.

By and by Smith became curious and made an errand to the basement. "Had a good look at 'em, Mr. Prior?" he asked in a patronizing tone.

"I hope I'm not keeping you from any business. Don't let me detain you about the building; I can let myself out."

"Oh, I ain't in no hurry," said Smith and after whistling about for a little while he went upstairs. He sauntered to the front door of the building, where he stood whistling until a friend who worked in the livery stable near by came along; then he stopped and told the friend of Prior's strange interest in the potato heap. "He's ben down there most an hourjust standin' lookin' at things."

"What's that for?" asked the friend. "Don't know no more'n you do."

"Let's find out;" and the friend led the way around to a side window of the basement. "I swan if he ain't a-countin' them potatoes!"

A little boy with a tin pail who was going past, seeing the men looking in at the window, went to see what they were looking at. "What's that man a-doin' down there?" he asked.

"That's a crazy man, an' you'd better clear out, ef you don't want he should nab you," explained the friend, who passed for a very humorous fellow with his circle.

The little boy backed off and continued his way until he met another boy, to whom he confided his discovery; and this boy in his turn shouted across the street to another: "There's a crazy man down to the town hall, and he's just slashin' the beggars' things 'round. Let's go see him!" -and they sped along on either side of the street, while the first little boy determined to hide his pail in a convenient mortar bed and go back with them.


They swept others into their wake as they ran. Stray passers-by were attracted by the knot of observers, and soon every window was rounded. The story told by the jocular friend gained such credence, that timid women ran nimbly past the building, while others with stronger nerves joined the men and boys who rather grudgingly made room for them.

So absorbed was the object of this curiosity that, save for a sense of discomfort, on account of the dimmer light, he was entirely unconscious of it. He worked steadily on. The perspiration stood upon his brow, he trembled with weariness, and his head throbbed from long bending forward. He was therefore in no condition to meet calmly or with dignity the interruption coming in the person of Smith who felt that this was a fitting time to display his authority.

"Now, then, Mr. Prior, I think you'd better leave off tossin' them po

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thrashed, Smith ?”

"Oh, you come off the roof. I guess you ben drinkin', Mr. Prior. You don't look over steady on your feet."

With a bound Prior was upon him, so unexpectedly that, although Smith was more than his match, he fell heavily to the floor. For a moment he was dazed, but then he closed with his assailant, and they flung themselves. about the floor in close embrace. The potatoes rolled about, and cabbages, turnips and pumpkins added to the confusion. There was a rush from the outside, and the stairway was blocked.

"Stop that fighting!" shouted the constable, who had been one of the onlookers.

Public opinion was clearly on the side of Smith. Several men surrounded his panting form, and others. ran to pick up his hat; while Prior was treated with severity, two or three peacemakers keeping an unyielding grip upon his collar long after he had ceased to struggle.

The town having but just outgrown the limits of a village, this breach of the peace meant much to the community. Men talked about it on street corners; women ran into their neighbors' side doors to compare particulars; and at the next meeting of the most influential sewing society the wife of the leading clergyman said that she did not know what the world was coming to,-which caused the ladies present to pass each other scissors

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